This one was only an hour! But Simon ‘n’ Friends still managed to serve up a hearty helping of drain-circling matter along with one, maybe two promising singers. Ashly Williams, 24, delivered the only truly stirring audition of the night — even if the producers hadn’t launched into an edited segment about her murdered mother (we are really to believe Simon didn’t know and had to beg her to mention something “interesting” about herself? this is such pure trash! dying! help! it hurts!), I would have enjoyed the way she vocally purred and throbbed her way through Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
She’s likable, right? I mean, beyond the depressing backstory? Simon called Ashly “the reason we brought this show to America,” which is just more utter bullsh*t out of Simon. I mean, the girl can SING. Absolutely. But the bar is pretty low here. I didn’t cringe once; no bum notes detected. Therefore hers just might be the best X Factor audition…. of all time.
Ellona Santiago — remember her? Simon didn’t — also moved on after a gutsy cover of Little Mix’s “Wings” that had her showing off her (clothed, it’s okay) crotch area again and again right on top of the judges. This girl is super into performing, which is about the best thing I can say about the 16-year-old — and apparently all the producers are looking for. I did not think the vocal was there. She was mostly yelling.
I do, however, remember Ellona as “the one in the red jacket” from season 1 — she was part of Paula Abdul’s little-tyke supergroup named (cringe!) InTENsity. She had a nice little solo section in a performance they did. But… so what? Good God, this show. This really is it for me, I think.
Stone Martin got four yeses! He’s a 14-year-old who wisely chose One Direction’s “Little Things” and then whisper-sang about two-thirds of it in-tune (that was really generous) while gazing dreamily into the distance. I swear he never looked directly at any audience members, and yet they kept showing these three or four specific girls, just sobbing. Oh, sweethearts. I know it is torture to sit through The X Factor auditions. But we are all here! This just happens to be your lot in life. Not everyone can win, you know.
And then another not quite talented lint-roller of human cuteness made it through: Andrew Scholz, 18. He can wear a plaid shirt really, really well. The kid will do fine in life. I can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to hear him sing again. Simon sleep-talked about Andrew having “charisma, which is part of The X Factor. You’re very charming.” This guy was NOT charming. It’s not that he was a terrible person. He was just…there. An attractive boy. That’s it.
That’s really it.